View Full Version : PbP and Live Games Likes/Dislikes

2007-04-14, 08:45 PM
I've got a question for you. If you've played in both in-person and play-by-post games, what do you like/dislike about each? If you haven't played one or the other, why not (as in...is there something specific that is stopping you from playing that style)?

Personally, I like the camaraderie and inevitable silliness/bonding of a live game (anyone for a 2am run to Sweetwater Doughnuts?). There is more of the feeling of figuring it out as a group, maybe? And I'll admit there is a certain something to the physical accoutrements of gaming; the myriad dice, the metric ton of books, etc.

On the other hand, I like the time to think about and...craft one's responses inherent in PBP games. Although I don't know that I have the patience for the old school snail mail PBM games in which my husband used to participate. It's also nice to have the opportunity to play with a wide ranging group of people, and if you live somewhere without a local game...

So what are your opinions?

2007-04-14, 08:53 PM
I've found that real life games are much funnier and more intense. A problem I have with them however is roleplaying social situations, I'm just not very good at it. PbP games can be very deep with some serious roleplaying time and plenty of time to think about how your character will respond. They do loose some of the pace and impromptu hilarity of a real life game though.

2007-04-14, 08:53 PM
I think I prefer the AIM session on the whole. It find it's easier to analyze the situation that way. But then some of the guys I play with are either a little grating in person or a little... fragrant. It can get distracting in a bad way. That said, in-person gaming sessions tend to be much funnier.

2007-04-14, 08:55 PM
PbP offers a chance for more detail. Also, it doesn't involve leaving the computer.

2007-04-14, 10:39 PM
I favor play-by-chat: all the ability to proofread your own comments, color-code your NPCs and add extra details of PBP, 4/5 the speed of a live-chat. AND you can keep your logs and look over them when spending an evening alone and bored. I enjoy playing live, except that I have a much harder time coming up with my responses, and PBP.... well, on the plus side I get to have a field day with my descriptions (can we say amateur writer?), but nine times out of ten all the interesting stuff happens while I'm off at class, or the game dies on me without warning.

2007-04-14, 10:51 PM
Honestly I've had some very good experience with play by post, play by chat, and real life sessions.

One thing about play by internet (post or chat.) Is that it can give you roleplaying options otherwise that you might be otherwise incapable of pulling off at a table top setting without getting laughed at or looked at oddly. For example. I'm 6'3". Do you know how hard everyone laughed when i wanted to start a halfling? Not to mention there are things like character speech and such that can be harder to pull off in a tabletop setting that are easier in an online setting. A kender or very talkitive halfling for one, is something that can become easily annoying if you aren't careful at the table, but on a forum, it can really improve the roleplaying flavor. I also find my character stats and such better organized by computer.

PbP is nice when you might only have 15 minutes here or there in the day to check forums.

PbC is nice to keep the same general pacing of a table top game, and seperate channels for ooc talk can really improve the gaming and strategizing.

However, the funnest is definately the real life ones. general interaction is very nice, you can have some of your most memorable sessions amongst other people. Of course, this can depend a bit on the people. I can get just a little carried away with my roleplaying (not really but meh), and at this one point one of the other player's had to ask, "Why are you whispering?" Still, fun, but best if everyone is on a similar level.

2007-04-15, 08:16 AM
I've never played in a PbP or PbEmail game so I can't really comment on that much. I tried running a PbP game once upon a time back in the BBS era, it was a bloody mess that died a quick death (inherited it from another gm and didn't wipe and reload...never again! :p).
I have a friend who is trying to get me into his Champions voicechat/teamspeak game...unfortunately time/work restraints are preventing me currently. That, and I'm too lazy to sit down and actually come up with a hero concept...(ya, it's bad.) Honestly I don't miss the in-person interaction of gaming much for some of the reasons Nahal listed - fragrant and/or obnoxious people. It's an interesting concept anyway.

2007-04-15, 10:54 AM
Tabletop is immediate and fixed within a session. PbP is continuous and has no "sessions". Many of the differences come from that fundamental contrast in dynamics. One is not a substitute for the other, they scratch different itches.

I like tabletop for that dramatic-improvisation in real time you get. However everyone has to be switched-on for it to work, and in the mood to get creative.

PbP is great for creative collaborative fiction, but it's slow. Even relatively light games are slow, running on a different timescale entirely to live games.

2007-04-15, 11:30 AM
PbP and Chat games are pale imitations of the real thing for me. Mainly because most of my talents for roleplaying are hindered by the impersonality of the medium. Communication is a huge part of Rping, and 90% of communication is non-verbal.

I can talk in different voices with PC mannerisms faster than I type without misspellings. True laughter is more gratifying than "LOL" and being jolted by a surprised "What the ... !" is funnier than reading "WTF!1!" IMHO.

It takes about a month of posting to do what a six hour table top session can accomplish in real time. PbP can be good for strengthening your writing skills, but it's basically daily creative writing homework with an delayed entertainment payoff.